27 Dec 2016

Anger at death of Manus refugee in Australia

11:46 am on 27 December 2016

The Australian based Refugee Action Coalition says the death of a man medivacced from Papua New Guinea to Australia is yet another casualty of the systematic neglect that characterises Manus Island, and offshore detention.

Sudanese refugee Faysal Ishak Ahmed collapsed at the Australian run detention centre on Manus Island and was evacuated to hospital in Australia last week.

Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection said he died on Saturday.

The 27 year-old's death is not being treated as suspicious by Australian authorities, but detainees and refugee rights groups have claimed the man was seriously ill for months and had made repeated requests for medical assistance before the emergency.

"The PNG Supreme Court ordered that Manus be closed last April. It is still open only because the Australian government has refused to accept the decision of the Supreme Court," according to Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

"The government should stop playing with refugees' lives and bring them to Australia where they can get the protection and medical attention they need," Mr Rintoul said.

Under Australia's tough border security policy, asylum seekers intercepted trying to reach the country by boat are sent for processing at the camps on Papua New Guinea's Manus island and Nauru in the South Pacific. They are never eligible for resettlement in Australia.

Residents of the Manus Island processing centre queue for food.

Residents of the Manus Island processing centre queue for food. Photo: Behrouz Boochani